Think Finance, LLC
On February 5, 2020, the Bureau filed a proposed stipulated final consent order against Think Finance, LLC and six of its subsidiaries (collectively, “the Think Finance Entities”) to resolve the Bureau’s lawsuit, which the Bureau filed on November 15, 2017. The Bureau alleged that the Think Finance Entities engaged in unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act in connection with the illegal collection of loans that were void in whole or in part under state laws governing interest rate caps, the licensing of lenders, or both.
The Bureau’s first amended complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana in 2018, alleged that the Think Finance Entities operated as a common enterprise that affiliated with tribal lenders in the offering and collection of online installment loans and online lines of credit to consumers nationwide. The Think Finance Entities, the Bureau alleged, made deceptive demands and illegally took money from consumers’ bank accounts for debts that consumers did not actually owe because the loans were either partially or completely void under the law of 17 states. The Bureau also alleged that the Think Finance Entities provided substantial assistance to two debt collection companies that were also engaged in the illegal collection of loans.
The proposed stipulated final consent order was entered by the court on February 6, 2020. Among other things, the order prohibits the Think Finance Entities from offering or collecting on loans to consumers in any of the 17 states if the loan violates state lending laws or assisting others in engaging in that conduct. The order also imposes a $1 civil money penalty for each of the seven Think Finance Entities.
The 17 subject states include Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Dakota.